The United Arab Emirates’ key Fujairah pipeline bypassing the Strait of Hormuz will be fully operational by the end of the year and will carry most of Abu Dhabi’s oil exports, the oil minister of the OPEC member said on Tuesday.
Alarmed by Iranian threats to block the world’s biggest oil shipping lane, the Strait of Hormuz, the UAE opened its long-delayed pipeline to pump up to 1.8 million barrels a day and shipped its first export cargo in July.
“Hopefully by the end of the year it should be fully operational,” Mohammed al-Hamli told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dubai.
The 370-km (231-mile) Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline carries oil from fields in the UAE’s western desert to Fujairah, a major oil storage and fuel bunkering hub on the east coast. The new terminal has eight crude oil storage tanks each with capacity of one million barrels.
But since the first three initial cargoes, some of them going back to the UAE, the Fujairah terminal has not yet become fully operational for handling the bulk of the UAE’s exports.
“We also want to test the tolerance of the pipeline. If we have to export extra we push it through to see how much is sustainable,” Hamli said.
“Our refineries also take crude from onshore so we have to cater for our two refineries and then what’s available will be exported through Fujairah,” he said.